Strategy. Innovation. Brand.

Rhetoric

The Greeks invented the science of persuasion – they called it rhetoric. The posts in this category give a brief overview.

Disagreeing Effectively

Let’s say you’re having an argument and your opponent has stated his position clearly. You’d like to persuade him to change his position. But you’re working against the consistency principle — once your opponent has stated a position, inertia keeps him from changing it. Your argument needs to be clear and compelling but it also needs to provide a way for your opponent to change positions gracefully. While it may be tempting, making your opponent feel small or cornered is usually unsuccessful. Remember, you’re interested in persuading, not humiliating.  Similarly, making your argument overly abstract doesn’t do much good. You need to get personal and stay positive.  Learn more in the video.

This tip has a lot to do with the consistency principle — and how to overcome it.  You can find more on the consistency principle here.

Building Credibility (the Wrong Way) Can Reduce Trustworthiness

As a public speaker, your first objective is to use your communication tools
to establish that you are a trustworthy person and create a bond with the audience. One element of this is credibility — the audience wants to know that you have the practical experience to give good advice.  So, in general, building your credibility also builds your trustworthiness.  But if you build credibility the wrong way, you will reduce your trustworthiness and cripple your ability to persuade.  Learn more in the video.

Speaking Human

When we want to let people know how smart we are during a speaking presentation, we often dress up our language. We use more formal diction, bigger words, and formidable phrasing. We often toss in a lot of jargon as well. Typically, however, it doesn’t work. We just sound stuffy, self-important, and boring. We’re trying to show the audience how smart we are which is always a losing strategy. Much better to show the audience how smart they are. You do this by speaking human — conversational, easy-to-understand, and plain spoken. As the saying goes, you should eschew obfuscation. Learn more in the video.

Creating Sound Bites

attentionMost people will forget most of what you say shortly after your presentation. Speech writers are always looking for hooks to make key ideas more memorable. These are the sound bites that you often hear on the evening news. Sound bites summarize, shorten and encode information to make it more memorable. It’s almost like writing a jingle for a commercial.  How do you create sound bites? It’s not easy but there are some general rules to follow. Find out more in the video.

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